Either I have nothing interesting happening in my life, or...no, that's it. You'll be able to relate to this...I promise...?
I'm guessing many people on here have to ride in an elevator at some point in their week. If you don't, then I'm guessing you've still ridden one at one point or another in your life. No? Then live vicariously through this post. But if you do have to take an elevator, like myself, to get to and from your office, you begin to realize, the experience is a little strange. It's probably one of the most unique encounters you'll have in your day because it's one of the very few times (hopefully), where you're stuck in a confined space with other people. And if you're not in a large building, the brief comings and goings may not be so bad, but if you have to work or live somewhere with floors reaching up into the 20's and above...then, it just gets plain awkward. No really, it does!
Maybe it's just me, but I have no idea where to look when I'm in an elevator. You're stuck in there for what feels like minutes, when only seconds have passed, and sometimes someone will attempt small talk with you. I don't understand that, and it bothers me that it happens. First you have nowhere to focus your eyes so your find yourself looking at everything. If that wasn't enough, you're in a metal box in close quarters, with no personal space. Why would you then try to start a conversation? You're lucky if you get a sentence or two out before you reach your destination. What a grand time you've had when you can't finish a thought because the other person has reached their floor. I think it's ridiculous to start a conversation, yet people do it all the time.
There was one instance where I was in an elevator and an older gentleman walks in. Now this is in a seven story building, so there's not much time to get a word in edgewise. It takes about a minute to get from the bottom floor to the top floor. Either way he starts this encounter with a nod, and of course, the polite thing to do is nod back, so I nod back. Then something triggers a conversation about the weather, where maybe he thought I hadn't noticed how hot it's been lately. I don't know how unaware I need to be in order to not know it's HOT out there. But before he can get to his anecdote about keeping cool, I make it to my floor and bid him a fond farewell. No conclusion, no witty reparte, no epilogue, just a "Have a good day." I know, I will never see that man again.
I think that's why I prefer to stay utterly silent when riding an elevator. Sure I'll smile to anyone I make eye contact with, but then I avert my gaze to the floor, or my hands, or anything that [revents me from talking to anyone. And this is NOT being anti-social. It's just me knowing that a brief elevator ride is not an invitation to be friendly. There's nothing FRIENDLY about an elevator. It's a claustrophobic mess of hot, smelly bodies, impatiently waiting to get to their destination. There is no "party" on an elevator, and certainly no "bonding" when you have to stand, hands behind your back, trying to respect everyone's personal space! I only have precious seconds on this elevator, and I don't want to a conversation that I'll never have the pleasure of actually finishing to fruition! I mean, do you REALLY think you can get a thought provoking dialogue going in a small metal room that eats up and spits people out every few seconds? Do you NEED to socialize so much that you feel that even a brief and all to quickly ended exchange is necessary for you to live a fulfilling life? Would it not simply be easier to keep quiet?! The elevator is awkward enough as it is with that lingering "well, this is uncomfortable" feeling in the air, there is no need to become acquaintances. Why is there that feeling of, "I should probably say something to the only other person on the lift"? I prefer those few who get it, and enter an elevator and just go for that neutral corner. I like my corner.
Well, lo and behold, after a quick search on the Google, I find that there is elevator etiquette. Not that I'm going to read it, as I prefer the, last one in, stand in the back, last one out method, that prevents me from mostly having to socialize with anyone in particular. Not that I'm against socialzing, I just think it's absolutely bonkers for you to think that the elevator is the perfect place to have a talk. I'm surprised people even want to have SEX in a drab, germ infested, steel cage of tempermental machinery. It's so weird to think that people get off on that. I don't care HOW fancy the elevatory you're riding in looks, that's all just nasty with grubby hands having touched all over the place and...yeah...no. Well...I wouldn't mind...err...never mind.
So that's all, just wanted to share my thoughts and experiences of elevator riding. What are your experiences? Do you think I'm crazy? Do you like having meaningless conversations on the trolley of duldrum (I don't know what that means, I just thought it sounded cool.) Share in the comments below.
LINK: Elevator Rules for your educational pleasure.